High level conference on “Ebola: From Emergency to Recovery”: response so far and planning the recovery
On March 3 2015, the European Union organised a high-level conference on the Ebola epidemic. The purpose was two-fold: first, to take stock of the ongoing emergency response and adapt it to the evolving situation on the ground, leading to eradication of the disease; second, to plan for the long term and support the recovery and resilience of the affected countries, including the development of their health systems.
On March 3 2015, the European Union organised a high-level conference on the Ebola epidemic. The purpose was two-fold: first, to take stock of the ongoing emergency response and adapt it to the evolving situation on the ground, leading to eradication of the disease; second, to plan for the long term and support the recovery and resilience of the affected countries, including the development of their health systems. The high-level representatives of the countries affected by the Ebola epidemic in West Africa and their international partners – including the European Commission and ECDC – discussed additional actions required to end the epidemic and agreed on a set of principles to guide the recovery of the region. Marc Sprenger, ECDC Director, highlighted at the meeting: “While fully supporting the comprehensive strategy to stop all transmission of the virus, the Ebola epidemic is still ongoing. It still requires unprecedented international commitment in order to ensure that it is fully controlled. As such, ECDC is now directing more of its expertise and efforts towards the refocussing of the battle against Ebola in Africa. To date, we have mobilised 17 experts to be deployed through the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN) in the affected countries, in particular in Guinea. All in line with the EU framework”. In the beginning of Ebola outbreak, ECDC’s focus has been to provide regular Ebola risk assessments to the European Commission and the EU Member States and to support the EU Member States to bring their preparedness to the adequate level. He also added that “ensuring a smooth transition towards restoring the capacity of health services to control other threats such as measles and malaria is very important. In particular, preparedness and prevention is crucial. With the continued support of the Commission and EU Member States, we are fully committed to maintain our support for such capacity development with technical advice and sharing of experience that we have gained over the past 10 years.”
The European Union has been active in the response to the Ebola emergency from the start. It has mobilised all available political, financial and scientific resources to help contain, control, treat and ultimately defeat Ebola.
The event was co-chaired by the EU, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, the United Nations, the African Union, and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
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